The following is a press release from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office
BOSTON – Today, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey joined a coalition of attorneys general in filing a preliminary injunction seeking an immediate halt to illegal changes to the United States Postal Service (USPS) that prevent postal workers from effectively delivering the mail.
The motion for a preliminary injunction, filed in a multistate action with AG Healey and the attorneys general from California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, says that in some parts of the country, USPS’ actions from July 2020 have led to significant delays, harmed veterans, seniors and rural communities, and could disrupt the November election without court intervention.
“The changes being made at the Postal Service are an illegal and blatant attempt to disenfranchise voters during this election season – and they must be stopped immediately,” said AG Healey. “Americans across the country rely on the Postal Service, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and we will fight these reckless actions to undermine it in a time of heightened need.”
While the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s Office has undertaken considerable efforts to ensure voters are able to vote easily, safely and securely – including funding the first class mail rate for ballot applications to be sent to and returned by voters, designating non-USPS ballot drop boxes and expanding early in-person voting – AG Healey is taking action to prevent any illegal interference with the operations of the Postal Service.
“While voting by mail has been an enormous success in our State Primary, with more than one million ballots mailed to voters last month, we will be relying on the Postal Service to help ensure that November is just as successful,” said Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin. “I expect an even larger volume of mail-in ballots for the Presidential election, and we need to make sure the Postal Service is up to the job.”
The preliminary injunction filing says the Postmaster General is required to submit proposed changes of this kind to the Postal Regulatory Commission before they take effect. Since this legally mandated process was not followed, these changes should be stopped until further review.
“Rather than acknowledge their mistake, defendants have left the misguided policies in place and insisted that they were not required to seek an opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission,” the motion for the preliminary injunction says. “They were—and their failure to do so was unlawful.”
The attorneys general argue that the actions of the defendants have already delayed the mail and will continue to do so and will also undermine confidence in the reliability and security of voting by mail and disenfranchise voters. The states are seeking to restore the status quo until this matter is resolved by the courts.
In August, AG Healey joined the multistate lawsuit filed in federal court challenging nationwide operational changes at the U.S. Postal Service.
The lawsuit seeks to halt illegal changes at the Postal Service and ensure safe, secure vote-by-mail across the country.